In the Pledge to America, Republicans promised to “curb Washington’s spending habits” and fundamentally change the way Congress spends taxpayer dollars. That’s why one of the first things Republicans did after the American people entrusted them with a majority in the House was impose a ban on earmarks, the taxpayer-funded projects slipped into legislation without scrutiny or debate.
Now the House will save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars by eliminating funding for one of Washington’s most notorious pet projects: the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC).
Long fueled by secretive earmarks, the NDIC has remained open for years despite the fact that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence “recommended that the NDIC … be closed for poor performance.”
A Congressional oversight panel determined it “was never able to fulfill its original mission of centralizing and coordinating drug intelligence, given its remote location and the unwillingness of the other Federal agencies to contribute significant information.” One former DEA agent with NDIC even admitted to US News: “we had to actually search for a mission.”
The agency – once the subject of a CNN segment on pork-barrel spending – has been called everything from “wasteful and unnecessary” to “duplicative and vague” to a “drug war boondoggle.” And while Republicans and previous administrations have tried eliminating NDIC and consolidating its mission with other centers, millions of taxpayer dollars continued pouring into the agency. Until now.